Active Recovery

The ‘Triple S’ Is the Fastest Way to Correct Your Posture

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Photo: Getty Images / Klaus Vedfelt
I hate to admit it, but I'm a sloucher. When I'm working, when I'm watching TV—you name it. Even with my bad habits, I'm not really sure if my posture is really all that bad. To find out once and for all, I turned to the "Triple S," a super-quick way to check for correct posture.

Triple S stands for skull, scapulae, and sacrum, three very important parts of your body when it comes to making sure you're standing upright, according to physical therapist and yoga teacher Lara Heimann, PT.

"The back of the skull should be in line with the scapulae and the sacrum—the lowest part of the spine made of 5 to 6 fused vertebrae—which creates a neutral spine with its natural curves and a neutral pelvis," she tells me. "Understanding and embodying neutral is important for better movement mechanics. When someone is living with a sub optimal posture, not only can that lead to perceived tightness, restriction and grouchiness in the joints and connective tissue, suboptimal posture limits movement variability and efficiency."

The easiest way to find your correct posture is to stand with your back against a wall. You'll want to position yourself so your sacrum, back of the skull, and scapulae are all touching the wall. Then, when you press into the wall, you'll discover your primary curves and get feedback on where your head needs to be for correct posture.

The brain is more resistant to discovering a new posture or movement when something is done habitually, says Heimann, so it can be hard to change your posture for the better right away. But by remembering what that proper alignment feels like and checking in on yourself throughout the day, you can adjust yourself regularly to find your optimal posture once again.

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Keeping your core strong is essential for good posture. Here's a quick workout:

Just FYI: This is the absolute worst bag for your posture, according to a chiropractor. You can also exercise your way to better posture in three easy moves with this core-conditioning workout.

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